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Humanitarian situation in Ukraine's south-east catastrophic — ForMin

October 09, 2014, 15:50 UTC+3

More than 3,000 people have been killed and more than 8,000 injured in the Ukrainian south-east hostilities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich says

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MOSCOW, October 9. /TASS/. The humanitarian situation in the south-east of Ukraine is catastrophic, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“In our opinion, the humanitarian situation there (in eastern Ukraine) is still nearly catastrophic, especially with the cold weather onset,” the diplomat said. “Similar views have been expressed also by UN officials,” he added. He said that according to the UN report, more than 3,000 people have been killed and more than 8,000 injured in the Ukrainian south-east hostilities.

International observers in eastern Ukraine

Russia positively assesses the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring mission in Ukraine and actively supports it in various formats, Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“We have a very positive attitude to the work of the OSCE monitoring mission,” the diplomat said. “We actively support it in various formats,” he added.

At the same time, Moscow does not see an unbiased approach in the report of the mission in Ukraine released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the diplomat noted. “Unfortunately, we don’t see an objective approach and unbiased assessments of developments in Ukraine on the part of the authors of the document,” he said.

Investigating crimes in eastern Ukraine

Moscow hopes that a probe in mass graves near the troubled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk will be unbiased and open, and that sufficient evidence will be produced, Lukashevich stressed on Thursday.

“A horrible tragedy has occurred, this is most likely a war crime,” he said. Russia will seek to find “the whole scope of facts and to punish those guilty,” the diplomat said.

Lukashevich said that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s official stated blasphemously that a full-fledged inquiry over mass graves near the troubled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk can begin only after the Kiev authorities take control over these territories.

“A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s official said that a full-fledged open and unbiased investigation can be launched only after the Kiev authorities regain full control over these territories,” the diplomat said, adding that "this is a blasphemous statement."

Situation in Crimea

Moscow considers attempts of the OSCE to evaluate the situation in Crimea as pressure from outside since the observers’ mandate does not include the peninsula, Lukashevich said.

“What bewilders us is that the observers are trying to evaluate the situation in Crimea, and it is being done under the pressure from outside and runs counter to the approved mandate of the mission,” the diplomat noted. “This mandate does not include Russia’s regions of Crimea and (the federal city of) Sevastopol."

Preprations for parliamentary elections

Human rights experts say opposition parties are being suppressed in Ukraine as preparations for snap parliamentary elections are underway, Lukashevich noted.

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